Beginning Monday, Dec. 13 New York State now requires that businesses and venues implement a mask requirement or require proof of fully vaccinated status to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Tompkins County Health Department is sharing information on the mandate and how the department will receive complaints and notify and educate businesses.

In accordance with Tompkins County’s mask advisory, TCHD continues to ask all members of the community, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors and around others who are not in your household. Tompkins County also continues to urge all residents who are eligible to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot. Any individuals who are symptomatic should seek a test and avoid gathering with others.

TCHD has published a form on the department’s website where residents may share a complaint with Environmental Health. The form asks for the name of the business, date of the observed complaint, and the type and description of the complaint. Those without internet access may call 2-1-1 (1-866-211-8667) and a representative will fill out the form for you. Environmental Health will follow up with the business to notify them of the complaint and offer educational resources on how to effectively mandate vaccination or masks.

Businesses may also submit questions to Environmental Health through this form.

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “Our businesses continue to do their best to follow the guidance to keep people safe, which has included asking that masks be worn while indoors and encouraging vaccination of employees and customers. This NYS mandate emphasizes the importance of mask-wearing and vaccination to decrease spread of the virus. It is our goal to provide businesses with the resources they need to be successful letting customers and employees know what to expect in their space.”

Kruppa continued, “Masks and vaccination are two of the best tools to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is more important than ever for us all to wear a mask while we are indoors and around others and get vaccinated and boosted as soon as we are able. Thank you to all of our local businesses who have gone above and beyond to communicate clearly with customers and staff and to keep everyone healthy by following the guidance.”

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